Manche Masemola

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Manche Masemola
Masemola Statue (center) - Westminster Abbey
Born 1913
Died 1928
Honored in
Anglican Communion

Manche Masemola (1913–28) is a Christian martyr, of the Pedi tribe, who lived in Marishane, a small village near Polokwane (then still called Pietersburg), in South Africa. German and then English missionaries had worked in the Transvaal for several decades and by the early twentieth century there was a Pedi Christian minority which was widely viewed with distrust by the remainder of the tribe who still practiced the traditional tribal religion.

She attended classes in preparation for baptism with her cousin Lucia, against the wishes of her parents. When she came home she would be beaten by her parents. Manche found herself saying that she would be baptized in her own blood. Her parents took her to a spirit priest, claiming that she had been bewitched. She was prescribed a traditional remedy, which her parents made her consume by beating her. She died shortly after without having been baptized.[1] Manche's mother converted to Christianity and was baptised forty years later in 1969. Manche was declared a martyr by the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (now the Anglican Church of Southern Africa) in less than ten years.

She is one of the ten 20th-century martyrs from across the world who are depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey, London.


  1. ^ "Manche Masemola timeline" (PDF). 

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